The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore. – Psalm 121:8 (NRSV)
This psalm’s conclusion stresses God’s presence in passage/transition moments, in “the going out” and “the coming in.” Such moments are fraught—fraught with drama, anxiety and possibility.
I am leaving. Am I ready? Who, and what, will I miss? What am I entering into? Will I be ready? Will whoever or whatever is on the other end be ready? How will I make a whole new life in a new place?
Spring, it sometimes seems, is one transition after another.
Graduations. It went by so quickly.
A job change. Will I be up to it?
A move. Everything is different here.
Retirement. I can’t wait. I’m terrified.
Border crossings. Fleeing, no guarantees.
If it is true that God offers a special promise of presence in such betwixt-and-between, fruit-basket-upset times, it is also the case that such changes may break us open to the Holy Spirit in unexpected ways.
In transition, we are vulnerable in new ways. Naked, metaphorically speaking. “What and whom can I hold onto?” “Who, or what, holds onto me?”
In entering in, we ask, “What is this place?”
Ours is a God who knows the journey, who is on the move, who goes ahead of us to Galilee. You will be upheld. You will be sustained, in your going out and coming in, by the mercies of God. Trust this.
Bless, O God, by your powerful presence our going out and coming in, our dying and our rising, in the name of the risen One, who has gone before us. Amen.
Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. He is the author of many books, including What’s Theology Got to Do With It: Convictions, Vitality and the Church. You can read Tony’s “Weekly Meditation” and “What’s Tony Thinking?” at his website, www.anthonybrobinson.com.